The Ambassador of Japan to Uganda H.E. Kazuaki Kameda has advised Ugandan farmers to adopt new techniques of farming so as to improve agricultural production. During his first visit to the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) offices at Makerere University on Wednesday 17th April 2019, H.E Kameda called upon leaders, policy makers and the media to change the mindset of local farmers towards modern agriculture.
The Government and policy makers should train farmers on the new irrigation methods, water harvesting, and climate change strategies among others. Through capacity building and policy review, farmers can add value to their produces and earn more money. I urge policy makers to borrow a leaf from the technologies we use in Japan to come up with new interventions that can address the issue of climate change and sustain agriculture, said H.E. Kameda.
The Ambassador emphasized the importance of knowledge and information sharing as a key aspect of social transformation. He tasked the media to inspire farmers by sharing successful stories on the different agricultural aspects.
Noting that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening globally, the Ambassador called upon respective Governments to come up with policies and strategies that can provide solutions to the increasing poverty problem in the world.
Addressing the audience, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the Government and people of Japan, for supporting Makerere University. According to Prof. Nawangwe, through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and AICAD, the Japanese Government has tremendously supported Makerere University research that is geared towards finding solutions to African challenges.
With this support, we have been able to build capacity among staff and students, carried out search on the critical areas of health, climate change, unemployment and food security. We appreciate the long term relationship that we have built for years with the Government and the people of Japan, remarked the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Dominic Byarugaba, the Acting Executive Director, AICAD expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Japan for supporting AICAD activities. He pledged to use the knowledge and information from Japan, to develop innovations that can reduce poverty in the country.
He informed the Ambassador that AICAD is training farmers from western, northern and central Uganda on how to add value to some of the country's local foods. We are receiving positive feedback on the value added products from bananas, sim sim and rice, he said.
He appealed to the Ministry of Education and Sports to support the teaching of sciences in higher institutions of learning. In the same spirit, he called upon parents to fund their children to study science courses including agriculture.
The Training and Extension Director, Mr. Patrick A. Wakhu, said that AICAD collaborates with the government and local authorities to identify farmers who are appropriate for training.
Since we want the knowledge to be shared in the whole community, we choose groups of farmers engaging in community work. After the training, selected farmers go ahead and mentor the rest of the people in the community, said Mr. Wakhu.
African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) is a Regional International Institute dealing with poverty reduction in Africa through human capacity development. AICAD was born from the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 1988, held in Tokyo, Japan. AICAD therefore was established in August 2000.
The Institute was first financed by Japan through Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and presently it is jointly financed by the three East African governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with support from development partners of whom the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA),World Bank, Wetlands International and European Union have been key in all the activities revolving around research and development, training and extension and information network and documentation as the main functional divisions.
Source: Makerere University